By: Scott Harris, Assistant Sports Information Director
Hampden-Sydney Swimming took second place at the ODAC Championship, the Tigers’ highest finish ever. In the process, H-SC avenged an earlier loss to Randolph-Macon.
Head Coach Betsy Leonard was named the ODAC Coach of the Year, becoming only the second woman to be named ODAC Coach of the Year in a men’s sport.
"We had a hard-working group of 19 swimmers who devoted a lot of time and energy to achieve some huge success," said Coach Leonard. "Standout swims came from our captains, Ryan Mitchell ’17 and Conor O’Heir ’17, and fellow senior Stewart Lawrence ’17. They have waited four years to beat Randolph-Macon. Those four years of hard work could not have ended any better—the second-place finish at the ODAC Championship was the perfect exclamation mark."
Hudson Elmore ’19 become the first Tiger to be named First-Team All-ODAC; he was joined on the All-ODAC team by third-teamers Robert Brown ’19, Carter Cole ’20, Christopher Mercer ’18, O’Heir, and Brady Updike ’19.
Elmore’s name is all over the Tiger record book as he ranks in the top 10 of an individual or relay race 64 times, including the school record in 11 events. He posted a ODAC top-10 time in the 50-yard backstroke, the 100-yard backstroke, the 200-yard butterfly, and the 100-yard IM.
Brown, Mercer, O’Heir, and Updike have been tremendous assets to the swimming program throughout their careers and have been improving year after year.
Tragically, the swim team and the College lost a brother when Carter Cole passed away in March. "When Carter swam," said Coach Leonard, "it looked effortless. He was so talented, but so humble. One season with Carter will never be enough. Our team is keeping Carter’s parents and brother in our thoughts and prayers."
Hampden-Sydney Tennis was picked fourth in the ODAC Preseason Poll, a vast improvement over the past two seasons. "We have a much better dynamic this year," said Coach Robert Bareford. "The team works hard every day and are friends off the courts. We have four freshmen in our top six, but captains Trent Singleton ’17 and Andrew Loving ’17, along with sophomore Harrison Stone ’19, bolster the roster."
The Tigers are already showing the massive signs of improvement the league coaches predicted. Three games into the season, H-SC is 3-0 with two wins coming against ODAC foes Lynchburg College and Shenandoah University. The Tigers received little resistance, sweeping Shenandoah 9-0 and defeating Lynchburg 8-0.
Leading the team are freshmen Matthew ’20 and Michael Moody ’20, who compose H-SC’s top doubles team. Matthew also plays at the #1 singles flight and Michael the #2. The twins rank in the top eight ODAC players, according to Universal Tennis Rating.
Singleton and Levy Young ’20 make up the #2 doubles team and the #3 and #4 singles players, respectively. They have won both their singles and doubles matches with ease. Stone and Grayson Burns ’20 team up at #3 doubles and fill in the #5 and #6 singles spots. Both players have dominated their competition in doubles and posted decisive wins in singles.
The Tigers are playing shorthanded with top freshman Clark Cummings ’20 recovering from a knee injury. He will slide into the lineup at #3 singles and #2 doubles.
"If we stay healthy and hungry, we will be an ODAC title contender over the next four years," stated Coach Bareford.
Hampden-Sydney College interim athletic director Davis Yake ’08 announced the hiring of Tommy DiNuzzo as the College’s new head soccer coach.
DiNuzzo comes to the College after spending the last four seasons as the head coach at the University of Maine at Farmington. Prior to his time at Maine Farmington, DiNuzzo was an assistant coach at ODAC-rival Lynchburg College (2011-13) and the University of Mary Washington (2009-11).
“We could not be more excited about Coach DiNuzzo’s arrival as the tenth head soccer coach at Hampden-Sydney,” Yake commented. “Coach brings a wealth of experience with him, including great knowledge of the region, conference, and institution. His enthusiasm for this program is contagious, and we feel the future is bright with Coach DiNuzzo.”
“I would like to thank Mr. Yake and the entire search committee for giving me the opportunity to come to such a well-respected institution,” said DiNuzzo. “Hampden-Sydney College is a place I have been familiar with since I was a player, and I look forward to helping the program reach its potential and be a strong contender in the ODAC.”
DiNuzzo took over a Maine Farmington team that won just two games, and he was able to triple that win total in his third year while also reaching the conference semifinals for the first time since 2011. Additionally, he had the most all-conference honorees since 2011.
A 2009 graduate of Mary Washington University, DiNuzzo was a four-year starter and two-year captain for the Eagles.
Hampden-Sydney Basketball posted several impressive performances in the 2016-2017 season, starting with an exhibition at neighboring Division I Longwood University, where the Tigers narrowly lost in overtime 93-85.
The Tigers won the Luck Stone Holiday Tournament, defeating Messiah 75-73 on December 19, then defeating Mount Saint Vincent 91-85 the following day to take the title. Logan Samuels ’18 was named tournament MVP behind two 20-plus point performances, while Guilherme Guimaraes ’18 and Jake Duncan ’17 were honored on the All-Tournament Team.
H-SC won at eventual ODAC Champion Guilford College on January 21, the Tigers’ first win at Guilford since the 2005-06 season. Hampden-Sydney started off February winning three straight games, including a 63-56 defeat of Randolph-Macon and a 76-69 victory over Virginia Wesleyan.
The Tigers closed out the season with the ODAC Tournament, hosting Shenandoah University in the first round, where they took out the Hornets 75-64 on Feb. 20. They squared off against top-seeded Guilford in the quarterfinals three days later. While the Tigers led by six at halftime and battled to the end, Guilford ultimately prevailed 63-53.
Duncan was named Third-Team All-ODAC as he led the team in scoring with 12.2 points. He also scored his 1,000th career point this season, finishing his career with 1,019 points.
Senior JaVonte Reddick ’17 closed out his career on a high note. Averaging nine points a game and scoring numerous clutch baskets throughout the season, he was also the Tigers’ top defensive player, helping force the ODAC’s leading scorer into a 6-for-19 shooting performance.
Helping bolster the team after the first semester was midyear transfer Malik Crute ’21. The combo guard debuted on December 20 with an impressive 15-point, four-rebound, four-steal performance and scored 18 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists at Guilford.